Spy (also Spee and Spry) Boyd was an enslaved man who worked in the fields at Tuckahoe during the Wight and Allen period. He was born sometime around 1806 and was married to an enslaved woman named Mahala by 1850 when Mr. Joseph Allen listed out all of the enslaved workers on the property . While enslaved, the couple had at least seven children together (Henrietta, Chagny, Armistead, Robert, Matilda, Thomas, and Margaret) and three grandchildren (Mary Eliza, Sallie, and James).
Spy’s wife, Mahala, and one of their daughters (Henrietta) worked inside the house of Tuckahoe. Spy and the other children (once old enough) toiled in the fields tending to the various crops. The family lived inside the South Cabin which still stands today along Plantation Street.
After the Civil War, it seems that many of the Boyd family stayed in the area and were reported to live in the Dover Township of Goochland County. In the 1870 census, Spy was listed as a farm laborer and Mahala was listed as a house servant, likely at Tuckahoe. They had 2 of their children living with them at the time: Thomas (farm laborer) and Margaret who was also a house servant. In October 1867, Spy Boyd (along with several other previously enslaved men at Tuckahoe) was recorded in a poll book for Goochland County. This would have been one of the very first elections where they were allowed to vote.
By the census of 1880 Spy was a widower and listed as a retired farm laborer at the age of 76.